I have 9 days left in England, and so I’m already well into the throws of packing, storing and selling my possessions. The memories of my aching back from last summer convinced me to buy a lovely little 1.6KG 55x40x20 suitcase to replace my quaint little 46x32x15 canvas pinstriped backpack. The only reason I upgraded in size was because I can stuff so much more into a backpack than a suitcase – do you find the same? I began by buying a suitcase that was almost identical in measurements as the backpack thinking, ‘ok, same size, just on wheels. Lovely.’ This suitcase, in fact.
Well the suitcase was almost fine, it easily fit my laptop (case and charger), my camera (lenses, cases and charger), about three outfits… and not much else.
So I went and bought the larger (but still suitable for a Ryanair flight) suitcase, and said to myself that it doesn’t matter if the case is bigger, I’ll still pack exactly what I packed last summer; as little as possible.
That was a week ago. Things have changed a little since then; I’ve realised a few things. I’ve always been a big believer that if you are travelling for three weeks, three months or three years, there is very little difference in how much you need to pack. I’ve never understood people who say ‘well I’m travelling for a whole summer, so I need 200 outfits. But then I started packing… and I realised, as much as I love backpacking, and I’ve always loved having just a tiny backpack (except for the backache) to carry all I need for a few months, I don’t want to do that for longer than a summer. I want to live out of a suitcase.
This realisation started with a skirt. This skirt, actually:
Image from here.
This is my absolute favourite skirt, bought at H&M about a year and a half ago. Every time I travel, it gets left behind simply because it’s made of 10000 layers and would take up half of my backpack. I can deal with that, it’s only a skirt, it just means I wear it as much as possibly for a few months when I come back to England to make up for it. Except that this time, it managed to sneak into my suitcase… closely followed by a pair of black kitten heels. I bought them back in March, broke my foot in April, and so I’ve never worn them besides a few times to break them in around my apartment. And they are just too beautiful to be a waste of £20. And besides, I plan to stop and teach English when I start to run out of money.. I need a suitable outfit for work.
I do need to watch myself though; it’s easy to get carried away and start finding any excuse to justify everything in my wardrobe. A New Look LBD is trying to sneak it’s way in under the same excuse as the kitten heels; work clothes, but so far I’ve been stern and said no; a LBD can be bought anywhere if necessary.
I think my suitcase wardrobe is fairly finalised.
- Pink Midi Dress. H&M A/W 2011. £20
- Green Skater Dress. Primark. £10
- A trusty black tank top (with lace trim)
- Satin cream 3/4 blouse. New Look. £16.99
- Nautical Striped top (mine is 3/4 and backless)
- Roll sleeved dusky blue t-shirt. New Look. £4.99 (I’ve ripped up the back of mine)
- Baggy waterfall pink thin jumper. Vera Moda. £18
- White 3/4 Cardigan. H&M £6.99
- Black floral bralet.
- Brown tweed shorts.
- Black suede kitten heels. New Look. £6
- Cream/black pointed flats.
- Black brogues.
- Black waist belt.
- Pink scarf. New Look. £7.99
It’s all a bit more chic than my usual backpacking wardrobe, which consists of summer tea-dresses, gladiator sandals and short shorts. But then again, I’m not backpacking this time, I’ve living out of a suitcase, and so why can’t I bring one or two luxuries?